This one-year full-time course consists of taught modules (120 credits), followed by a brewing research project (60 credits) in which you will use skills and knowledge gained during the taught modules to devise and undertake an innovative piece of research. Typically, projects will be conducted in partnership with the brewing industry and provide opportunities for work experience.
The core of the course is delivered in two modules which are delivered face-to-face as lectures, seminars and practical classes throughout the year:
Fundamentals of Brewing
This module covers the fundamentals of the brewing process, definitions of beers and other associated beverages and brewery design and operation.
- Historical perspective and the factors which have shaped the modern brewing industry
- Beer definitions and styles (including RTDs)
- The brewing process (traditional and modern and to include a description of the various options for process and plant that can be used to perform individual stages in the brewing process)
- Brewery design and layout including a description of tank design, pipe-work layout, types of pump and valve
- Brewery operation and planning
- Engineering aspects of brewing including choice of materials for construction, heat exchange, refrigeration, and gas control
- Definitions of scientific units used in brewing and the methods used for their measurement
- CIP and hygiene
- Environmental considerations
- The impact of legislation on brewing practices
- The impact of R&D on modern brewery practice
- Future trends and career opportunities in brewing and other topics as deemed appropriate
This module provides students, most of whom will be new to brewing, with the necessary practical skills to enable them to brew beer and will complement the module “Fundamentals of brewing” and be taken as part of the full-time MSc in Brewing Science. It will be largely practically based using the facilities already present in Brewing Science (nano and AB InBev micro-brewery) but also supplemented with appropriate lectures, tutorials and visits to external commercial breweries. The module will culminate in an assessed group exercise the object of which will be the production of a batch of packaged beer of style and recipe chosen by each team. • The effect on wort quality of raw materials and process conditions • Fermentation and yeast handling • Beer finishing and packaging • Influence of raw materials and process conditions on beer analysis and quality • Measurement of in-process and beer analytes. • Tutored beer tasting • Brewing calculations and recipe design • Experimental design and the use of statistics and other topics as deemed appropriate.
The programme starts with an introduction to the brewing process, its historical development and the range of beer styles which comprise the modern beer market. You will be taught the practical, technical and engineering know-how required of a professional brewer in the modern industry. Substantial emphasis is placed on the development of practical brewing skills and your ability to brew your own beer to specified style guidelines, using our pilot brewing facilities.
The remaining modules are studied via a combination of e-learning materials and intensive short courses (which are held throughout January and May):
Raw Materials for Brewing
This module provides an understanding of the significance and quality parameters of the key raw ingredients used in brewing and of the underlying science and technology. Links between raw material and product quality factors will be considered. The module forms a part of the ‘brewing process’ component of the MSc in Brewing Science and forms a core knowledge base for students studying the cross-disciplinary parts of the course in subsequent years. The collaborative group project will develop teamworking, communication and ultimately presentation skills at the assessment event.
Develop an understanding of the science underpinning the processes utilised in the production of wort from raw materials. To consider the key constituents of wort which impact upon beer quality and the influential processing parameters involved. The module forms a part of the ‘brewing process’ component of the MSc in Brewing Science and links directly into the raw materials, fermentation and flavour development modules whilst also forming a core knowledge base for students studying the cross-disciplinary parts of the course in subsequent years.
Brewery Yeast Management
This module considers brewing yeast management in relation to brewery fermentations. Students are introduced to scientific principles and their relevance to industrial practices:
- Brewing taxonomy
- Brewing yeast cell biology
- Brewing yeast genetics
- Brewing yeast biochemistry
- Brewing yeast replication and growth
- Yeast culture maintenance and supply
- Methods of analysis (genetic, biochemical and physiological)
- Brewing yeast propagation and pitching
Fermentation and Yeast Handling
This module considers brewing fermentations and the importance of yeast within the process. Students are introduced to scientific principles and their relevance to industrial practices:
- Brewing yeast biochemistry
- Brewing yeast propagation and pitching
- Fermentation (biochemistry, technologies and process control)
- Brewing yeast flocculation and sedimentation
- Brewing yeast crop recovery, storage, acid washing and recycling
- Recovery and disposal of spent yeast
- Other topics related to malting as deemed appropriate.
Beer Maturation and Filtration
This module considers biological and chemical processes that contribute to the maturation of beer once fermentation is complete. Students are introduced to scientific principles and relevance to industrial practice of
- Maturation: flavour and aroma changes. Techniques to achieve product specification
- Formation of non-biological hazes and stabilisation against non-biological haze
- Carbonation: carbon dioxide addition, saturation and recovery
- Clarification and filtration. Removal of yeast and beer recovery, beer filtration
- Specialised beer treatments: low-alcohol, alcohol-free, ice beers, diet beers, bottle conditioning
Packaging of Beer
This module covers the essential elements of packaging beers and other related alcoholic beverages. The module includes theoretical and legal aspects of packaging together with consideration of the design and operation of modern high speed packaging lines. Specific units are:
- Design and operation of bright beer tanks
- Assuring the microbiological stability of packaged beer using aseptic filtration, flash pasteurization and tunnel pasteurization.
- Achieving specifications of packaged beers including legal aspects of packaging and labeling.
- Packaging beers into large-pack and small-pack containers, secondary and tertiary packaging.
- The design and operation of modern high-speed packaging lines suitable for beers and other related alcoholic beverages.
- Beer dispense and cellar management
This module considers the occurrence, frequency and biology of non-brewing microorganisms that are associated with spoilage during the brewing process or the final product. The impact of microorganisms on process and beer will also be considered. Students are introduced to:
- Spoilage microorganisms associated with the brewing process and final beer product
- Sampling, detection and identification of brewery microorganisms
- Disinfection of brewery yeast
- Cleaning- in place (CIP) operations
- The principles and practice of brewery hygiene
Beer Analysis and Quality Management
Development of the key chemical & physical properties of beer which determine its’ quality & the analytical techniques which are used to measure them. When & where in the process should measurements be taken using a Brewery Analysis Plan and how are these measurements integrated into the necessary Brewery Quality Systems?
- Basic principles of instrumental analysis
- Separation science
- Standard methods of beer analysis
- Experimental design & data analysis
- Definitions of beer quality
- Brewery Quality Systems
You will study these modules alongside students on our world-renowned MSc Brewing Science, which provides continuing professional development for brewers already employed in the industry. This part of the course firstly follows the stages of brewing production from raw materials to beer in pack, providing in-depth technical knowledge underpinning each step. Subsequently you will focus on beer quality, specification and the necessary standards and in-process checks required to manufacture beers that are ‘right first time’.
Brewing Research Project
The Brewing research project will provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and experience gained throughout the course. It aims to give you ownership of your particular piece of research to be fully involved in the skills of designing, conducting, evaluating and reporting/ communicating a piece of time-limited academic research. It is desirable (but not essential) that the project should lead to knowledge which is of value to the company hosting the research project. An emphasis will be placed upon the selection of appropriate experimental design strategies with which to test a particular hypothesis, and upon choice of the correct statistical methods of analysis. It will also support the you in developing the necessary skills for writing research papers (synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources and evaluating them in the light of one’s own research).
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.